You may not know it, but your workplace may be a repository of stored hazardous energy that can cause serious harm. It’s crucial that you’re able to identify these lethal energy sources to protect yourself.
The industrial revolution of the 1800s introduced countless machines that made mass production possible. Although the basic structure of industrial machines has undergone dozens of modifications, its fundamental principles remain the same up to the present time. In fact, the energy that modern manufacturing machines have is so huge that working near or operating it is already classified as a hazardous job.
Hazardous Energy Explained
Hazardous energy is those that can cause harm to people. It includes electrical, chemical, thermal, pneumatic, mechanical, gravitational, and many other forms of energy. Factories and other industrial plants are storehouses of powerful and hazardous energy. If you work in any of these places, it is important for you to be aware of the lockout tagout procedures that your company most probably have posted or printed and handed out to employees.
Be aware of your company’s LOTO program
No, your company most likely won’t encourage their employees to place some bets in a lottery. A LOTO policy (short for lockout and tagout) is mandated by the government, especially those that engage in manufacturing and other industrial tasks. The policy outlines what a worker should and should not do, particularly when working near an area where hazardous energy is present.
Memorise the LOTO Do’s and Don’ts
LOTO policies usually outline a number of what employees should do or not do in a particular area and in a given situation. According to the University of Calgary Environmental Health and Safety, hazardous conditions are possible to control and eliminate if their work practice measures are in place. If you have been working in a factory for a long time and already have mastered your company’s LOTO policies by heart, then you might want to share your knowledge to new employees assigned to your area.
Knowing your company’s LOTO policies is an essential part of your responsibilities as an employee. Doing so would allow you to identify hazardous energy sources and how to best deal with them to ensure your and your employees' safety.